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Government to address teachers' plight

by Staff reporter
26 Nov 2019 at 07:23hrs | Views
PRIMARY and Secondary Education Minister Ambassador Cain Mathema yesterday said the welfare of teachers should be addressed if they are to effectively deliver on their mandate.

Amb Mathema made the remarks during the Ministry's 2020 strategic workshop that is ongoing in Bulawayo. He said some teachers were living in squalid conditions and this needs to change.

"The Ministry, I am informed, has 130 000 teachers. They are my soldiers and as far as I am concerned these are my troops. I cannot accept a situation where my troops live in hovels, where 10 teachers share a house. Each teacher must live alone with the necessary privacy. We can't have a situation where teachers can't even have privacy.  

"Before a new school is built, we must make sure that there is piped water and secondly at a new school we build the school head's house and after that we build teachers' cottages, then classroom blocks," said Amb Mathema.  

He said without a motivated teacher, the Government may falter on delivering a world class education system.

"It's so embarrassing to see teachers going to fetch water from Gwayi River on their heads in the morning before they go to school and expect them to perform according to the plans that we have seen here. I think it's unfair. Without good teachers, without teachers who enjoy their jobs we are just playing," the Minister said.

Amb Mathema said through mortgage systems and Public Private Partnerships (PPP), teachers should be assisted to build their private homes and buy properties that will dignify them.  He said several schools have been damaged by storms and talks are underway for devolution funds to be used to rehabilitate the infrastructure.

Amb Mathema said he will be engaging the Public Service Commission to fill up several vacancies that exist in the Ministry as those in acting capacities cannot effectively execute their duties.   

"If you are acting you are not sure anymore. Now I'm acting Defence Minister. As acting Minister, I cannot under good governance conditions make policy decisions when the substantive Minister is in China or South Africa. But when things go wrong and you say I wasn't sure we kick you out because you were given that responsibility in the absence of the office bearer. I will write to the chairman of the Public Service Commission so that we fill those posts," he said.

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Source - chronicle